TV on Disc Channel Guide: A rocky road to 'Being Human' in the second season
Plus the end of the British crime drama 'Trial and Retribution'
"Justified: The Complete Third Season" (Sony) continues one of the best cable dramas on TV with a new season that pits Timothy Olyphant's slaw-talking, quick-shooting, self-destructive U.S. Marshall against a carpetbagger of a Chicago crime lieutenant (Neal McDonough, all smooth and smarmy sadism) trying to set up his own drug empire in Kentucky. Videodrone's review is here.
"Being Human: The Complete Second Season" (eOne), the American incarnation of the original British series about a vampire (Sam Witwer), a werewolf (Sam Huntington), and a ghost (Meaghan Rath) who become roommates in a Boston house, holds its own just fine with its inspiration as it stakes out its own identity this season, with its tale of the vampire mafia, possessed souls, and ghost madness.
If you've seen either incarnation, you know the premise: these three supernaturally-challenged former humans attempt to live normal human lives, or at least as normal as can be for a being who drinks human blood to survive or turns into an uncontrollable killer wolf when the moon is full. This season the challenges get great indeed: the vampire is lured back into the schemes of the ruling undead monarchy, the wolf turns another and puts himself on line to cure her, and the ghost gives in to her dark side. They leave a lot of victims behind, including each other, as the support group fractures into separate spirals into destructive instincts. Most shows pull out the stops for the season cliffhanger, but by any standard, this one is a doozy that sends all three characters into limbo.
13 episodes on three discs on Blu-ray and four discs on DVD in a fold-out digipack with overlapping trays. Also includes a making-of featurette, the interview featurette "Being Human: Problems," and the "Being Human" panel at Comic-Con 2012.
"Trial & Retribution: Set 6" (Acorn) features the final four feature-length episodes of the British crime series created by Lynda La Plante, which follows cases from the scene of the crime to the jury verdict. David Hayman and Victoria Smurfit star as the detective partners investigating each case. Two discs.
"Lillie" (Acorn), the 1978 BBC miniseries starring Francesca Annis as the famed British actress and courtesan Lillie Langtry, gets a DVD rerelease. The 13-part drama follows Lillie's life from her youth as a rural tomboy through her makeover as a society celebrity and "professional beauty" (she marketed her image with modern savvy) to her notoriety as a self-made woman and celebrated stage actress who flaunted her independence and her very public love affairs (including one with the Prince of Wales). Four discs in a standard case, plus an insert with a brief essay on Langtry's impact on pop culture.
Also getting a DVD rerelease is the 2002 version of "Doctor Zhivago" (Acorn), with Hans Matheson and Keira Knightley in the roles of the star crossed lovers inhabited by Omar Shariff and Julie Christie in David Lean’s original epic adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel of the Russian Revolution. Italian director Giacomo Campiotti helms the nearly four-hour production, and Sam Neill co-stars. Two discs, plus 70 minutes of cast and crew interviews.